A family member called the other night, shaken by a recent exchange with a stranger in an airport. This relative was raised Catholic, loves his Catholicism, but chooses to attend a Presbyterian church out of love for his wife and respect for her religious traditions. When he mentioned that he was returning home for his daughter’s confirmation to the airport stranger, the stranger asked with interest if he was Catholic. “Actually,” my relative replied, “we go to a Presbyterian church.” The stranger scoffed. “Oh, I get it,” he said, “you go to fake church.” He went on to belittle my relative’s choice to worship with his wife and daughters and to openly deride and insult their Presbyterian tradition.
“What should I have said?” my relative asked me. “I was so upset, I couldn’t think of anything.” At first, so was I. Admittedly, my usual approach to belligerent, triumphal people is not to approach them at all. But sometimes they find us, and when they do, it’s good to keep a few ideas in mind. Continue reading “A Christ the King appeal for religious sensitivity”